Go to Homepage   William Gibson: All Tomorrow's Parties

  Crescent Blues Book Views

Three moon gifAce Books (Trade Paper), ISBN 0-441-00755-4
Colin Laney resulted from an experiment gone wrong. Government projects left him with the ability to mentally follow data in the cybernet and predict certain events. And what Colin Laney perceives terrifies him. He isn't afraid of the data he sees, but what he doesn't see. The data holes Colin finds could result in the worst disasters ever to afflict the world -- and they seem to be connected to millionaire Cody Harwood.

Book: William Gibson, AllTomorrow's PartiesLaney identifies disillusioned security guard Rydell as the only person who can stand against the individual forging the negative data trail. Rydell follows the clues Laney provides to San Francisco.

Meanwhile, former slum dweller Chevette returns to San Francisco with a friend to film a documentary about the lives of those who live in the bridge hovels. These poor slum areas, built on the Golden Gate Bridge, harbor deadly mists that, like the hovels, prove a constant attraction to the more foolhardy tourists.

Book: William Gibson, IdoruGibson pulls the lives of all his characters together, racing towards the ultimate moment when they come into conflict with the Gray Man. Once a serial killer and hit man for the Harwood Affiliates, the Gray Man wanders through the novel as a loose cannon, no longer under control and finding his own motives and victims for his three-sided blade.

All Tomorrow's Parties radiates tension -- almost too much tension -- as the finale builds and the reader waits breathlessly to see if the heroes survive. One feels genuine pity watching Colin slowly succumb to a life-eating fever as he tries to survive the Tokyo slums in a small cardboard box. Determined to continue to track the negative data trail and lead his allies to the Gray Man, Colin refuses to take the medicines that might save him. One likewise feels genuine concern for Chevette as she constantly dodges the shadowy figure that follows her. Meanwhile, this reader urged Rydell to end the chase and save the world.

Heavy going and not for those who like a light read, All Tomorrow's Parties ranks as a worthy addition to all cybertec and psychological thriller libraries. Gibson keeps the pace icy cold.

Stephen John Smith

Click here to share your views.